Downward Facing Dog Pose

While down dog might be one of the most common yoga poses, that doesn’t make it the easiest! How to ease into a dog dog is by far one of the biggest questions I’m asked in yoga classes and private sessions. Because, after all, you want to have alignment of your joints and it should feel good!

There are a few ways to find downward facing dog, or Adho Mukha Svanasana, with or without props. The keys to alignment are making sure that shoulders and hips feel supported while stretching long through the spine and hamstrings. It’s common to experience sensation in the backside of the legs, across the shoulders, or in the neck.

Aside from the options included in this demo video, another option is to skip this shape all together! If your shoulders have limited mobility, a previous or current injury, or you just aren’t feeling supported in the shape, it’s perfectly fine to pass on it. Some alternative poses might be child’s pose, tabletop (hands and knees), or a forward fold. All of these shapes continue to stretch the muscles along the spine and backs of the legs, with minimal strain on the shoulders.

I’m more than happy to chat further with you on modifications to make yoga feel great in your body! Want to learn more about what it’s like to work with a non-diet dietitian or yoga teacher? Schedule your free discovery call to chat or check out my online yoga class, Moxie on the Mat!